Seizures in people with epilepsy are commonly treated with anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) but 30-40 percent do not achieve adequate seizure control, predisposing them to severe health risks, impaired quality of life and higher healthcare costs.
Data from a retrospective study presented at the American Epilepsy Society's 67th Annual Meeting showed that uncontrolled epilepsy was associated with significantly higher healthcare utilization compared to well-controlled epilepsy, but had a similar level of healthcare utilization compared to intermediate-control epilepsy.
This study was a review of 2007-2011 healthcare costs for 26,625 adults with epilepsy who were treated with at least one AED within 60 days of diagnosis. The data were grouped according to disease severity into uncontrolled, well-controlled, and intermediate-control epilepsy categories. Relative to the well-controlled and intermediate-control groups, the uncontrolled group had a significantly greater utilization of AEDs (1.6 times the utilization with both, respectively), outpatient visits (1.20 and 1.06 times the utilization, respectively), and neurologist visits (1.4 and 1.2 times the utilization, respectively). Relative to the well-controlled group, the uncontrolled group showed large increases in utilization of ER visits (12 times greater), hospital stays (7.5 times greater), and duration of hospitalization (9 times greater). In contrast, no significant differences were observed between the uncontrolled and intermediate-control groups for ER visits and length of hospitalizations; hospital stays, however, were significantly higher (1.1 times the utilization) among intermediate-control patients.
"The findings of this study suggest that even small departures from optimal seizure control are associated with a marked increase in health resource utilization among epilepsy patients," said Fulton Velez, MD, MS, Director, Health Economics and Outcomes Research at Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc.
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